As a kid, did you ever feel like your mom didn’t love you, ignored you, or didn’t pay enough attention to you? Was she always trying to control everything you did? Did she often cross the line and not respect your personal space? How many times have you been yelled at? If any of these things sound familiar, they could be signs that you have a toxic mother. Keep reading to learn more about the signs of having a toxic parent.
A mother who’s toxic often focuses so much on her own needs that she doesn’t pay attention to her children’s needs.
Signs that a mother might be toxic include not respecting boundaries, being overly controlling, and in severe cases, even being abusive.
In addition, toxic mothers may not realize how their actions affect their children, and as a result, their children grow up feeling unloved, ignored, or disrespected.
When these children become adults, they might face challenges like anxiety, depression, and unhealthy ways of dealing with their emotions.
Also, their child could also struggle with their relationships.
The good news is that therapy can be a helpful way for them to heal from a tough childhood and learn how to avoid repeating toxic patterns when they become parents themselves.
Signs of a Toxic Mother
If you had a mom who made you feel unimportant, controlled your life, or didn’t respect your personal boundaries, you might have had a toxic mother.
She might have asked too much from you and your siblings or didn’t show love and warmth.
When you’re grown up, you might look back and see how her actions still affect you today.
Here are nine signs that suggest you were raised by a toxic mother:
1. She Lacks Empathy
Empathy means understanding and caring about how someone else feels.
It’s super important in being a good parent because kids learn how to be empathetic to their parents.
But some parents, like toxic ones, might not have much empathy for their children.
They might not always show love, understanding, or warmth. Sometimes, this happens because they grew up in families with the same kind of problems.
In addition, the sad part is that when a mom or dad lacks empathy, it can make their connection with their child not so great. This means the bond between them isn’t strong.
2. She Tries to Control You
One way you can tell if your relationship with your mom isn’t great is if she always tries to control what you think, how you feel, and what you do.
For instance, she might have picked your college, told you who to date, or even picked your clothes even when you’re grown up.
Her need to control you might have pushed you to either distance yourself from her, set some rules, or give in to her wishes.
Furthermore, when your mom is too controlling and bossy, it can also stop you from learning important skills you need to be a successful adult.
You might start feeling unsure of yourself and lost as you grow up.
3. She Refuses to Apologize
When you have a toxic mother, she might not admit when she’s done something wrong or say sorry for it.
Instead, she might say or do things that hurt you and then act like it never happened.
This leaves you feeling hurt and mad, but you don’t know how to talk about it or deal with those feelings.
Sometimes, to avoid more problems at home, you might even find yourself saying sorry for things that aren’t your fault, just to keep things calm.
4. She Intentionally Hurts You With Her Words or Actions
A sign of having a toxic mother is when she does things or says stuff without considering how it might hurt her children.
Sometimes, she’s so wrapped up in her own needs that she doesn’t even realize how her actions make you feel.
In really bad cases, this could even involve her physically or verbally hurting you.
And even when you grow up, the abuse might not stop.
If your mom was physically abusive when you were a kid, it could turn into verbal abuse when you’re older.
However, it’s important to note that moms who are abusive to their kids often went through abuse themselves when they were young.
5. She Puts Down Your Accomplishments
If you have a not-so-great relationship with your mom, one sign of it is when she doesn’t seem excited or happy about your achievements.
Furthermore, these moms might not be proud of you because they feel insecure or jealous. It hurts a lot because everyone wants their parents to be proud of them.
Also, you might notice that no matter how hard you try, it feels like you can never really make your mom proud of you.
6. She Fails to Respect Your Boundaries
A clear sign of having a toxic mother is when she doesn’t respect your personal boundaries.
You might have tried to set some rules in your relationship, but she just ignored them.
For instance, you may have asked her to give you some privacy, but then you find out she’s been reading your journal or snooping on your social media.
When this happens, it can make you feel like your personal space has been invaded and that you’ve lost control over it.
Also, you might even start thinking that other people won’t respect your boundaries either, just like your mom.
7. She Uses Manipulation to Get What She Wants
A key sign of a toxic mother is manipulation. This means she tries to make you think, feel, or act in a certain way for her own gain. Often, she does it in a sneaky manner.
For instance, she might offer to do you a favor, but it turns out she’s got a favor to ask from you in return.
Also, if you say no to her request, she might say you owe her something, and you could end up feeling like you have to do what she wants.
Also, if you think you’re being manipulated, it’s important to ask yourself whether your thoughts, feelings, and actions are truly yours.
8. She Makes Excessive Demands of You
A sign of having a toxic mother is when she asks for things that are really unusual and too much for you to handle.
She might expect you to stop everything you’re doing and take care of her needs, even when you have your own life to live.
If you try to say “no” to her requests, she might get mad, criticize you, or make you feel guilty.
It can make you feel stuck like you have no choice but to give in to what she wants, even if it’s overwhelming for you.
As time goes on, this can build up feelings of anger and resentment inside you.
In addition, it can also make you feel completely exhausted and burned out from constantly trying to meet her demands.
9. She Overreacts to Differences of Opinion
In any mom-and-child relationship, it’s normal to have disagreements sometimes. Moms and kids might not always see eye to eye, and that’s okay.
But some moms can’t handle their anger well and don’t know how to work things out when there’s a conflict.
Furthermore, toxic mothers might express their anger in a bad way, like calling names or shouting at their children.
In really bad situations, toxic parents might even become violent and hurt their kids.
As time goes on, children dealing with this toxicity might start feeling nervous, and anxious, or even become more prone to getting angry and aggressive themselves.
In conclusion, growing up in a harmful environment can influence how you raise your own kids. Sometimes, people end up repeating the same behaviors they promised they wouldn’t.
Therapy can help you understand how your past might be affecting how you parent, and it can make your relationship with your children better.